Conrad Mupesa Mashonaland West Bureau
Chinhoyi businessman, Mr Theodore Mhlanga, on Tuesday lost US$60 000 to robbers who stormed his Mzari suburb house where he kept his earnings.
The businessman — who uses a wheelchair — runs a bar in Gadzema, has several business premises and a farm.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi yesterday said an eight-member gang wearing black face-masks, hats, T-shirts and jeans attacked the businessman and his family and made off with US$60 000 and cellphones.
Police suspect the gang knew that the cash was kept at home.
The robbers drove off in one of Mr Mhlanga’s vehicles which was loaded with 25 bags of fertiliser.
Police recovered the vehicle dumped at Golden Kopje turn-off along the Chinhoyi-Chegutu highway with all the bags intact.
Asst Comm Nyathi appealed for anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of the gang to contact their nearest station.
“We are also appealing to business people to deposit their money and avoid keeping a lot of cash at their houses. A trend of these kinds of attacks is happening because robbers will be aware of the finances that these business people will be possessing.”
Last weekend, a lone armed robber raided a service station in Norton and stole more than US$3 000 from the cash office after threatening the employees with a pistol. Police have since launched a manhunt for the suspect.
A 35-year-old armed robber recently connived with four accomplices who are still at large and robbed a Beitbridge man of R14 000 and three cellphones at gunpoint. That gang, using a Honda Fit, abandoned their car near the crime scene after the complainant’s neighbours cornered them soon after the robbery.
In another case, a family from Gwanda recently lost over R50 000 which was part of lobola it had received after four masked armed robbers pounced on them at 3am in Bethel Village a day after the payment.
Illegal money changers and gold dealers have been frequent targets of criminals since they operate in public with large amounts of cash and so make good targets.